by Jodee Brown
Internationally acclaimed Dancehall superstar, Tifa has worked her way to the upper echelon of the Jamaican music fraternity. However, she wishes industry observers would give her and fellow female artistes the respect they deserve.
Tifa recently gave an interview on the Lauren O Lauren (LOL) show where she spoke of her career progress as well as the growing issue of respect for women in the Jamaican music industry. Despite scoring several top ten hits includingBottom of the Barrel, Spell It Out and Dash Out, as well as copping 5 Youth View Awards earlier this year, Tifa admits that the road to success has had its share of adversity; facing similar trials and tribulations that other prominent female artistes have endured within the Dancehall industry.
Part of it, Tifa feels, is that industry players fail to acknowledge the work female artistes put out in the mainstream, insisting that though things have somewhat improved, women have had to work much harder just to earn similar accolades to their male counterparts.
“I don’t feel they give women the respect they deserve…To me we haffi work harder, me did haffi work three hundred times harder cause when I started, everyone saw my legs, nobody neva did hear wah come out a mi mouth or go ‘Oh, she too cute fi a sing Dancehall’ cause at that particular time you had to look a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way to be a Dancehall artiste and I guess I kinda broke the mold,” she said.
One example Tifa pointed to regarded the issue of pay scales for male and female artistes; explaining that much more accomplished female acts will reap less benefits for their singles than less accomplished male acts.
“Yuh have a one man weh come out wid a one gimmick song and dem gi him seh a million dollars to perform and you’ll have a veteran in the business, a woman with a catalogue and they wanna give you less than half of that,” she said.
“Nuff a di man dem jus’ go out deh and sing dem song, nuff a di man nuh know nutten bout performance. Yuh jus’ have a string a hits and yuh go out deh and sing and a woman haffi go out dere and work fi her own. I don’t think that’s fair in terms of monetary balance.”
Meanwhile, Tifa spoke publicly for the first time about the state of her current relationship with long time friends,Timberlee and Natalie Storm. Formerly known as TNT, Tifarevealed that varying obligations pulled the prominent divas their separate ways and that she couldn’t give her energy to three different commitments.
When asked by show host, Lauren Dunn about the highly publicized fallout between herself and Timberlee, Tifaadmitted that there’s been tension between herself and theBubble Like Soup in recent times and that their relationship isn’t at the level it once was. However, the Matie Wine singer conceded that she hopes their friendship can return to its former state.
“We’re like sisters and inna every family, whether family or friend, yuh a go have yuh disagreements yes…but we’ve talked. It’s not as solid as before but it alrite.”
Tifa continues to enjoy musical success in 2012, scoring hit collaborations with Dancehall/Reggae superstar Konshens (Destiny) and breakthrough deejay/rapper, Laza Morgan (Love Me 2). Additionally, Tifa is slated to unveil her debut album internationally this summer.